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Please give this Englishwoman a sporting chance; Laura KEMP FAMILY MIS-FORTUNES.

Byline: Laura KEMP

Dear England, Sorry to bother you at this very busy time.

I realise you'll be completely absorbed by formations, set pieces and impressing club managers with your hairstyles ahead of Euro 2012.

But I've got a bit of a favour to ask. I'm an Englishwoman living in Wales, married to a Welshman, and mother to a four-year-old whose sporting consciousness is blossoming. At the moment my son is chest-thumpinglyWelsh even though I repeatedly tell him he is half-Welsh, half-English. Well, to be precise, I remind him he's less than half-Welsh because his father has some Irish in him.Which, according to my grasping-at-straws logic, means he is more English than any other nationality.

At the moment son is Welsh This, of course, is self-defeating. Put it this way, when it comes to St George doing a bit of slaying, he's on the dragon's side.

though repeatedly tell him half-For example, I managed to watch five seconds of the snooker last month before my son switched over to what he calls 'his telly'. The anti-mummy was working out who to back so he asked me: "Who are you supporting?" half-Put it way, comes Ronnie O'Sullivan, I said, before asking who he wanted to win. George doing of He went silent. Then said: "The other one. Who is he?" This, my dear England, is what I'm up against.

he's on dragon's So I need your help. The next fortnight is critical if I'm ever to realise my dream of having my son as an England football supporting sofa buddy.

I'm not expecting you to do all the hard work: I have laid the foundations at home.

I have a pact with my husband which goes like this: our son's love of Wales is to be encouraged when the rugby is on because the sport permeates every echelon of life here and also because we don't want him to be bullied.

However, when it comes to international football, my husband has begrudgingly agreed to keep his mouth shut when England are playing so I can encourage my son to celebrate his other heritage.

This sounds simple enough but there are outside factors which threaten this agreement - such as my Welsh in-laws.

I'm not asking you to win Euro 2012 - I'm not that deliriously naive. It would be nice though if only to rub my husband's big Welsh nose in it.

"All I ask is that you don't do your usual 'leave it to the last game in the group stage' to qualify for the quarter-finals.

my chestthumpingly even I need to be able to look my son in the eye and say England has done us proud. And a few wins will seal an affection in his little heart for the Three Lions for eternity. Or at least until he gets to secondary school and Ihe is Welsh realises his mother completely abused her position and brainwashed him into supporting her beloved "Inglund".

English.

this when it to St a bit (Oh and while I'm at it, can I please ask that you behave nicely on and off the pitch? If he sees you lot spitting on the pitch, he'll start doing it on the leisure centre floor at football on a Saturday and the other parents will see this and think, 'that's because his mother is English'. The same goes for swearing, fighting and giving the ref bother.) I cannot stress enough how important it is that you play your hearts out. For your country, for the team, for yourselves and for every parent living in a foreign land with a child who is half-English-and-not-proud.

the side Good luck.

Forever yours, An Englishwoman in South Wales P.S. Please practise penalties.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Jun 5, 2012
Words:622
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